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Jason Seley papers, 1928-2013, bulk bulk, 1929-1983

Seley, Jason, 1919-1983

Painter, Sculptor, Educator


Collection Information

Size: 3 Linear feet

Summary: Autobiographical notes, correspondence (1948-1983), subject files, personal business records, notes (1951-1976), art works, printed material (1948-1984), audio tapes (1967-1983), and photographs document the life, sculpture, and teaching career of Jason Seley.
Biographical material consists of a career outline, notes for an autobiography. Correspondence is with Seley's wife Clara (1948), his brother Stephen (1964-1982), his friend Clive Crocker (1974-1983), and various friends, colleagues, and students (1949-1983) concerns his family and art-related activities. Eighteen subject files contain letters, printed material, and photographs concerning Seley's works and other projects (1949-1983). Subject files include Haitian Art, 1949 and 1979-1983; New Sculpture Group, 1958-1959; Guggenheim Fellowship, 1964; Casper, Wyoming, 1969-1970; Berlin Correspondence, 1969-1974; Mexico, 1973; Nashville, 1973; U.S.I.A. Correspondence, 1973-1975; Spokane Expo '74 PAS ENCORE, 1972-1974; New Jersey Cultural Council TALISMAN, 1974; Palm Beach Competition, 1974; Sheldon Machlin, 1975; COLLEONI II, 1977-1978; Allentown, 1981-1982; FARNESE HERCULES II, 1980-1982; Bumper art by others, 1975-1977.
Personal business records include five ledgers record expenses (1955-1967). Writings consist of miscellaneous notes, a notebook recording activities as art director at the RCA Institute for a Signal Corps project (1951-1952), and lecture notes (1970-1976). Art works consist of 166 drawings and a sketchbook. Printed material includes clippings (1949-1983) and exhibition announcements and catalogs (1948-1984). Other materials consist of 4 reel-to-reel tapes of a lecture at Cornell on "Aspects of Modern Sculpture" (1967), a discussion between Seley and Jennings (1967), a tape catalog of the "Sound Show" (1969-1970), and an audio cassette of a memorial service for Seley (1983). Photographs, including ca. 1000 slides, show Seley, his family, assistants working in the studio, and his works (1928-1981).
A small addition of material (0.2 linear ft.) compiled by Seley's former assistant, Richard Heinrich, contains mostly posthumous material regarding Seley, including obituaries, a memorial service program, and a proposal for a Seley tribute exhibition. Also included are letters to Heinrich from Seley.

Biographical/Historical Note

Jason Seley (1919-1983) was a painter and sculptor in New York, N.Y. Seley studied with Ossip Zadkine in New York from 1943-1945 at the Art Students League. From 1947-1949, he sculpted and taught in Haiti at Le Centre d'Art. In 1950, he received a Fulbright Scholarship to France. While abroad, he traveled and saw the famous Andrea del Verrocchio, "Colleoni," which influenced him in 1969-1971 to construct a replica made from automobile bumpers, his preferred medium. He taught at Hofstra, New York University, and was the dean of the art school at Cornell until his death in 1983.


Donated 1984-1985 by Clara K. Seley and in 2013 by by Richard Heinrich, Seley's former assistant.

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How to Cite This Collection

Jason Seley papers, 1928-2013, bulk bulk, 1929-1983. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.